Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski told his lawyer on Monday to fight any attempt to extradite him to the United States for the 31-year-old rape charges.

Polanski, who directed the classic Chinatown and won an Oscar for 2002's The Pianist, was arrested Saturday night when he arrived in Switzerland to accept a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival.

Roman Polanski, 76, faces charges of having sex with a Los Angeles girl of 13 whom he plied with champagne and Quaaludes in 1977.

At the time, the victim Samantha Geimer, now 45, a married mother of three said he forced himself on her repeatedly despite her pleas to go home.

Polanski fled to Europe before he was sentenced. He has been a fugitive since 1978. In a deal with prosecutors, Polanski pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with a minor.

Samantha Geimer, publicly forgave Polanski in 1997 and says she wants the charges dropped.

Los Angeles County District Attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said her office learned last week Polanski would be in Zurich and sent a provisional arrest warrant to the Swiss.

Gibbons could not say when an extradition might take place and that if Polanski did return, it would be up to the court to determine what will happen to Mr. Polanski.

The Swiss Federal Justice Department said the extradition warrant and any final decision could be challenged in court.